ST GREGORY’S Campbelltown, missing four or five of its topline players, showed Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School how to take its chances when the Sydney school side won its second-round GIO Schoolboys Cup match 18-8 at Farrer’s John Simpson Oval
Farrer dominated possession and field position early on but had just a penalty goal from hooker Logan Harris to show for its efforts.
St Greg’s hit back to score three tries just before half-time and lead 14-2 at the break.
Farrer again had chances early in the second half, with centre Kyle Avery over once but unable to ground the ball and then winger Will Gooch bouncing the ball in the corner.
St Greg’s withstood that and added its own try from a dropped Farrer bomb to lead 18-2 before Avery crossed out wide with about two minutes left to make it 18-8.
Former Salford Reds star Lee Addison has been coach at St Greg’s for the past three years and, while he’s coped with an horrific injury toll that has sidelined five of his topliners, paid praise to the hard-working Farrer side.
His side plays in its “local comp” at home against tough opposition.
He said there was no difference in the ability and DNA of the two sides.
“They don’t play the intense football we do week in week out – that’s the only difference.
“It could have been a different game if Farrer score in the second half and make it 14-8 with a home crowd and big wind.”
St Greg’s, he said, had experienced a tough few months.
“We’ve had a massive injury toll,” he said.
“We had five of our topline players out and left three good boys at home this week.
“We’d lost our last five games too.”
After losing to Blacktown in the first round of this Schoolboys Cup, yesterday’s win was a morale-booster for his side while also showing the Farrer boys they must be almost perfect to compete against the big Sydney schools.
“We started well,” Farrer coach Damien Kenniff said.
“We just dropped off a couple of times in the first half and you can’t do that against these teams.
“At 14-2, had we scored we would have been right in it.
“It shows you have to play almost perfect football against these Sydney teams.”
Farrer plays Blacktown “next term” in its next game and will have to improve again.
“Blacktown gave St Greg’s a bit of a touch-up when they played them,” Kenniff said.
“So it won’t be easy.”
Best for Farrer were prop Ben Allen, wingers Will Gooch and Zac Leonard, centre Kyle Avery and twins Matt and John Brady.
Australian schoolboy lock Adam Elliott led the St Greg’s charge, scoring one try and having a hand in another.
Fullback Ben Hughes, halfback Christian Kagiassis and centre Harry Grove also excelled, along with both second-rowers.
Farrer winger Leonard had something to celebrate when he was named in the NSW Country Under 16 side, with fellow Group Under 16s Mitch Doring, Beau Parry and Callum Hayne.
They play Queensland Maroons in Toowoomba on July 7.